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Introducing Respawn Entertainment: a West/Zampella joint

 Former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella have founded a new studio dubbed Respawn Entertainment, with EA signed on as the exclusive global publisher. This news hot on the heels of Activision’s counter-suit against the pair, alleging that they were plotting to “steal” Infinity Ward. For now, Respawn Entertainment only has the two employees but they are in hiring mode. It’ll be interesting to see how many resumes they get from Infinity Ward.

Above: West and Zampella, with their new publisher's logo

A key facet of the dispute with Activision is the ownership of intellectual property developed by Infinity Ward, specifically: who owns the rights to the Modern Warfare brand. West and Zampella’s new deal with EA preemptively addresses this issue by ensuring that IP rights stay with the developers. "Now that the team is in control of the games and brands, we can ensure that the fans are treated as well as they deserve," said Respawn’s newly-minted President Jason West in the official press release. There’s no word yet as to what Respawn’s first game will be, but expectations are already high.

It would seem Activision has adopted EA’s old practice of buying up developers and running their franchises into the ground. And EA has become the safe haven for Activision’s victims, providing financial support and creative freedom to some of the biggest names in gaming. It’s a great bit of publicity for EA’s Partners program, which is winning over marquee developers with its supportive but hands-off approach. After so many years of EA-hating, it’s ironically satisfying to see them cast as the “good guys” against the Activison juggernaut.

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24 comments

  • Chester - April 18, 2010 3:04 a.m.

    With EA and their new DLC strategy, Their take on the mmorpg genre with star wars, and now the 2 minds be hind some of the greatest FPS series this decade they are really working on their way to being the juggernaut. I wonder if Activision continues with their bad decisions if we will see other devs break off. At least Blizzard isn't in the position IW was/is other wise I bet their would be a subscription rise, etc. Any ways good luck to Respawn cant wait to see what they pump out.
  • MassSaber - April 13, 2010 7:26 p.m.

    It's funny a few years ago EA was the ginormous publishing juggernaut and we all knew it as evil as Emperor Palpatine. Now it's Activision who is cackling away and shooting lighting bolts at any developer who dares defy it
  • JackSkellingtonsSkin - April 13, 2010 1:32 p.m.

    As a massive EA fanboy, I expected nothing less.
  • drewbian - April 13, 2010 9:35 a.m.

    sweet way to give a big fuck you to activision haha. love the noobtube shirt too, i want one
  • speno93 - April 13, 2010 6:27 a.m.

    EA's publice image couldn't be rosier at the moment if they were shown rescuing puppies. Could Respawn become the next Infinity Ward?
  • n00b - April 13, 2010 2:11 a.m.

    hmm time to submit my resume
  • JohnnyMaverik - April 13, 2010 1:42 a.m.

    Well I duno about everything, I mean I can't remember EA getting their hands on many Japanese devs and their works, might be wrong about that though... For the west that certainly rings fairly true, although not completely true.
  • mEgAzD - April 13, 2010 1:26 a.m.

    So.... irony? Will this just keep being a back and forth between Activision and EA?
  • Cyberninja - April 13, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    good for ea unless they mess this up to
  • DarkTone - April 12, 2010 11:44 p.m.

    Now EA have a machine gun! Ho ho ho!
  • EnragedTortoise1 - April 12, 2010 11:29 p.m.

    Wait... EA, the good guys? *faint*
  • EricBratcher - April 12, 2010 10:53 p.m.

    I feel I should point out, in my old mannish "in my day" style, that the last game Vince and Jason worked on before founding Infinity Ward was a little title from 2002 called Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. You may have heard of it. It was a huge hit, and it was published by - wait for it - Electronic Arts. EA is the Kevin Bacon of the games industry. Everything revolves around it, whether you can see it or not.
  • JohnnyMaverik - April 12, 2010 10:28 p.m.

    LOL, EA aren't the good guys, they're just another fat pocketed publisher, and these guys need a publisher with fat pockets if they're guna keep making games in the same vein as COD. Havign said that I can't wait to see what the new studio comes out with.
  • Thantos410 - April 12, 2010 10:25 p.m.

    I can only hope that this duo can create a more cohesive/less outrageous plotline than the massacre of common sense that Modern Warfare 2 was.
  • ghost_513 - April 12, 2010 10 p.m.

    I fucking knew it!!! Awesome, can't wait to see what the guys put out next.
  • OnyxOblivion - April 12, 2010 9:49 p.m.

    I love EA so much already. Now, they've got the big guns.
  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - April 12, 2010 9:35 p.m.

    I imagine that since they'll own the IP they're creating, they're going to give it everything they've got and try to top Modern Warfare. Which is exactly what EA is hoping for!
  • ventanger - April 12, 2010 9:07 p.m.

    Could be great, could be Daikatana
  • michaelmcc827 - April 12, 2010 8:59 p.m.

    They actually have a website! respawn.com It's very well put together IMO.
  • Tronto13 - April 12, 2010 8:46 p.m.

    This will deffinately be a developer to watch but lets be honest we wont see a game from them for two years at the very least. Especially if it is to the high standards we'll be expecting.

Showing 1-20 of 24 comments

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